Individual Membership: $20.00
Family Membership: $30.00
Patron Membership: $50.00
Business Membership: $100.00
Lifetime Membership: $500.00
Do you love the history of Niles, Ohio
and want to preserve that history and memories of events for future generations?
here to donate:
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization,
your donation is tax deductible. When you click on the Donate Button,
you will be taken to a secure Website where your donation will entered
and a receipt generated.
The Bradshaw Pottery Plant was built
between Hunter Street and the railroad right-of-way in Roundstown.
In digging the foundation a big bed of clay, the type used in making
red building bricks, was discovered. Construction of the building
began in April 1901, and by October the plant was shipping pottery.
Milltown: Merger and Diversification 1900 - 1930
During the first three decades of
the 20th Century, 1900-1929, fundamental changes occurred in the
industrial develpment of Niles.By 1900, the iron and steel industry
had reached maturity. The consolidation of small, isolated plants
signalled the impending of the locally-owned mill.
By 1905, every one of the local iron
and steel mills were gone: Falcon Iron & Nail, Russia Mill,
the original Ward Mill, later the Coleman-Shields mill. Undaunted
by the virtual collapse of the city's industrial foundations, Niles
industrialists, led by the newly-organized Board of Trade, established
a new diversified economy which doubled the population over 30 years.
Two new rolling mills were opened
in 1902, the Niles Car & MFG. began building electric street
cars in 1901 and later trucks then planes during WWI. The Harris
Automatic Press Company, with a Niles family as its founders, operated
The Fostoria Glass Works began operations
in 1910 and was soon acquired by General Electric. The Bradshaw
China Company started operations in 1901, later becoming the Tritt
China Company in 1910 and in 1923, the Atlas China Company.
The prospering Niles Fire Brick Company
built a second plant on Langley Street. Other new inustries were:
Standard Boiler & Plate, Stanley Works, Niles Iron & Steel
Roofing, Ohio Galvanizing, Sykes Metal Lath, Niles Forge & Manufacturing,
and Wilder Manufacturing.
Part 1: Milltown, the Early Years
1843-1873. Part 2: Milltown, Panic and Recovery
View of the construction of the Fostoria
Glass Works which took place in 1910 on the corner of Main and Federal
Streets in Niles. PO1.524
Fostoria Glass Works was constructed
in 1910 by Fostoria Glass Company, many of the first employees moved
here from Fostoria, Ohio. PO1.523
The General Electric Plant and grounds.
It was built about 1909-1910 and merged with National Lamp and GE
in 1911. PO1.526A
Photo of the "glass blowers"
prior to mech-anization of making of electric light bulbs.PO1.529
Hand blown glass bulbs were the initial
products. Large circular kilns contained molten glass in pots which
was extracted through 16 curtain doors on the end of five foot tubes
by gatherers who handed the tube to the blower. Blowers on pedestal
moulds left to right: E. McGowan, John Curtis. Gatherer
at station 14- Mr. Sebinaller.
General Electric acquired the plant
about 1911 and mechanized the process. Before mech-anization in
the early twenties, 205 blowers blew about 225,000 bulbs per day.
A blower and gatherer could blow 1100 bulbs in an 8 hour day. After
mechanization, 2 men and a machine could make 3,000 to 5,000 bulbs
per hour. PO1.530
The employees of the Harris Automatic
Press Company around the turn of the previous century. Charles
and Alfred Harris are the fourth and fifth gentlemen from
the right. The half-house in the picture was the boyhood home of
William McKinley; later it served as the Harris Company's
first plant. The house stood on the site of the McKinley Research
Center and the Old Main Ale & Chowder House.
The Harris Automatic Press plant was
constructed in 1904 with a Board of Trade grant of $1500.00 and
a free site.
The plant operated until about 1914,
when after a prolonged strike, operations were moved to Cleveland.
Prior to being dismantled, it was used as a soup kitchen during
the Great Depression. PO1.546
This is an architect's rendering
of suggested expansion of the Harris Automatic Press Co., Niles
Plant, which never occurred. The plant was sold in 1914 after a
costly and prolonged strike which forced management to move operations
to Cleveland. PO1.551
Standard Boiler & Plate Iron
Co. started in 1906 by D. J. Finney, E. A. Gilbert and
Above: Postcard view of Standard Boiler
& Plate Iron Company. PO1.625
Right: An advertisement from the Niles
Daily News dated October 5, 1917 for the Standard Boiler & Plate
Iron Company located in Niles, Ohio. PO1.623
Wilder Metal was constructed in 1922
by John Wilder on Route 46 between Niles and Evansville
and was one of Niles' fabricating plants. Production discontinued
after WWII. PO1.636
Bostwick Steel Lath Company. In 1891
Tod Ford, W. G. Hurlburt and W. W. Bostwick built
what, in 1976 was the oldest industry active in Niles. PO1.505
The Stanley Works Company was constructed
in 1910 by the company out of New Britain, Conn. It manufactured
nuts, bolts, washers and small fittings. Operations were limited
after WWII and the plant was sold in the 1950's. In 1976, it was
rented to Aluminum Billets, Inc.PO1.626
The DeForest Sheet & Tin Plate Company was
built in 1915 on the west side of North Main Street at the outskirts
It was sold to Republic Steel Company in 1919
and was still a working plant in 1976 when the Directory was published.
The three images below show the expansion of
the Republic Iron & Steel mill in 1920.
Erie Street view of the Niles Car & Manufact-uring
Company built in 1901, makers of one of the finest lines of plush
electric cars of the area. In 1917 the production was shifted
to truck chassis.
During WWI, the company became Engel Aircraft,
manufacturing components for airplanes.
It later became Stevens Metal Products and today
is the home of the Cleveland Container Corporation.
This building was located on the block
bounded by Erie, South Cedar, Allison Avenue and Mason Streets.
The 'Northern', the most noted car
built by the Niles Car and MFG. Company, was built in 1901 for magnates
Everett and Moore of the Northern Ohio Traction
and Lighting Company. It was fifty-three feet long, eight feet six
inches wide, twelve feet high, and weighed 54,900 pounds.
Niles Car & Manufacturing Company
was built in 1901 on Erie Street in Niles. PO1.1532
Assembly line of truck chassis at
the Niles Car & Manufacturing Co. PO1.1530
Inside the Niles Car & Manufacturing
Com-pany about 1915 when the streetcars were being phased out and
truck chassis were being built. Note the Nashville, Chatanooga &
St. Louis interurban car in the background. PO1.1454
Of the many diversified industries
in Niles just after the beginning of the twentieth century, the
Bradshaw Pottery Company, which provided employment for approximately
200 people, ranked high in the industrial develop-ment of Niles.
Early in 1901, an announcement was
made regarding the construction of a pottery.The building was built
of brick and tile, 72 feet by 400 feet. Only the latest and most
improved machinery was used and the highest skilled laborers were
employed in producing good quality earthenware.
By late October of that year, the
Bradshaw Pottery was in full operation, producing tableware with
decal styled decorations.
However, by 1910, the Bradshaw China
Company was in receivership. Frank A. Sebring purchased
the company and renamed it ‘The Tritt China Company”
a subsidiary of the Sebring Pottery Company in 1912.
Thomas Steel Mill was a new rolling
mill established by W. A. Thomas in 1902. It was located
on Walnut Street and was dismantled during the 1930 Depression.
The crew of the Thomas Mill in 1903.
This picture shows Carnegie Steel
Co. furnace as it was before being dismantled in 1925. It was located
on the east side of Mosquito Creek, south of the Erie RR. The dirt
road seen in picture was Robbins Avenue "Ext." to Main
Street, the paved road was East Church Street.